The strap features adjustable earphones, reportedly capable of delivering "360-degree realistic sound" and a comfortable, padded design that should make strapping a brick-sized device to your head a more appealing prospect.
Pricing on the HTC Vive Tracker hasn't yet been announced, though we suspect it will be around $100, putting it in line with the cost of the Vive controller which has similar components.
It's interesting to see HTC stick with the Vive's current design, rather than releasing a new device.
HTC's TPCast wireless Vive accessory is to get an global launch in the second quarter of this year, the company has confirmed, alongside Vive Tracker components for peripheral makers. HTC Viveport President Rikard Steiber noted that with more than 1,000 VR titles now available and more than 3,000 titles expected by the end of 2017, having a subscription model like this makes sense.
The accessories are HTC's answer to other VR rivals that have developed new ways to improve the overall VR experience.
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Right now, TPCast is only available for preorder in China, but the company plans to roll out worldwide ordering soon, with shipping in the second quarter of 2017. In addition to integrating earphones for ease of use, it replaces the elasticated material and strapping of the original Vive headset with a more secure looking rubber harness and padding.
Previously, HTC partnered with wireless company TPCast, which announced that it would be providing a wireless upgrade module for existing Vive systems back in November 2016.
Of these new accessories, the TPCast peripheral, has the biggest potential to transform the Vive experience, as it removes the bulky tether to the PC. The kit isn't completely wireless, though; without a connection to a wall plug, the headset has to be connected to a small 6,000 mAh battery that can sit in a pocket and reportedly provide enough juice for a 1.5 hour play session (a five-hour XL battery is reportedly in the works, too). The Tracker has a Q2 launch date with no price stated thus far.
HTC's CES 2017 event saw the Taiwanese manufacturer unveil a number of Vive accessories focused on expanding the abilities of its core VR headset.